Business Standard

US lawmakers urge Biden to release frozen Afghan funds to prevent disasters

US lawmakers urged US President Joe Biden to release the country's assets to prevent imminent economic and humanitarian disasters facing the Afghan people.

Chaos reigned as hundreds flocked to the passport office in Kabul, just a day after news that it would re-open. (Photo: Reuters)

ANI US
Amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, three US lawmakers urged US President Joe Biden to release the country's assets to prevent imminent economic and humanitarian disasters facing the Afghan people.
In the letter to Biden on Thursday, the US House of Representatives recommended a focused release of humanitarian funds to address the imminent economic and humanitarian disasters facing the Afghan people.
They underline that the US has a moral obligation to help the Afghan people who partnered with us and a national interest in preventing Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for our enemies.
"When the last American troops left Afghanistan, the United States promised that we would not abandon Afghanistan. That is a mistake we made once before with grave consequences for our own security, as well as for the Afghan people. We must uphold our promise and do what is necessary to ensure that the progress made over the last 20 years is not lost," wrote the US lawmakers.
"We cannot allow Afghanistan to once again become a breeding ground for terrorist organizations intent on killing Americans and attacking our nation, but that dreadful scenario will be made more likely if we fail to address the heart-wrenching humanitarian situation unfolding there today," they continued.
This effort follows a December letter from 40 lawmakers, which urged US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen to release humanitarian aid to Afghans, providing relief from the country's economic collapse.
Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, nearly USD 7 billion in Afghan assets in the United States have been frozen in the New York Federal Reserve.
In a bipartisan letter, the lawmakers urged the Biden administration to ensure that a substantial share of the frozen assets be used now to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people.
Describing a "nightmare unfolding in Afghanistan", the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres last week warned that the world is "in a race against time to help the Afghan people."
"Babies being sold to feed their siblings. Freezing health facilities overflowing with malnourished children. People burning their possessions to keep warm. Livelihoods across the country have been lost," the UN chief told reporters in New York.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Jan 22 2022 | 9:03 AM IST

Explore News